Just as ‘Yes’ by McAlmont and Butler is clearly the greatest pop song ever written, so there must logically be a ‘greatest fictional bear’ ever created. Yes, that’s right, the blog has degenerated to this – me discussing the pros and cons of cartoon bears. And no, I have not been paid to write this in order to promote the new Paddington film.
I could make a point about the dangerous anthropomorphism of animals and how this leads to misplaced confidence around those from the big, bite-your-head-off and not at all cuddly species (see Grizzly Man, or the recent photos taken by a student in New Jersey moments before being killed by a black bear). But I wont. I don’t really think I have it in me to make a serious point in what is a very flippant and facetious post I knocked up in the 30 minutes I have spare between getting the Tea on and developing my FIFA skills.
So here, in order of morphological and ecological accuracy, are my ‘Top Bears’
Species: Polar? Who knows?
Location: Nutwood, England
Habits and preferences: Hyper-camp. I will cast no aspersions about his preferences.
Accuracy Points: 0
Seriously, what was it about these authors in the 20’s, were they trying to convince kids that the woodlands of the UK were thronged with super-friendly bears? Rupert…god I hate Rupert…maybe it’s those stupid check trousers. At least they aren’t red trousers. Maybe it’s Paul McCartney’s fault. Rupert is less a bear, more an effete young boy with a bears head stuck on him.
Species: Teddy Bear
Location: Ashdown Forest, Sussex
Habits and preferences: Likes Honey, a bit slow
Accuracy Points: 2
Ok, so technically he’s a ‘Teddy Bear’ rather than an actual bear, but Ashdown Forest? I’m pretty sure there are no Bears in Sussex…pretty sure. Points for appearing to be in a pre-hibernation state most of the time and enjoying honey.
Species: Spectacled Bear
Location: Peruvian Immigrant
Habits and preferences: Likes Marmalade sandwiches
Accuracy Points: 5
Points for getting species origin correct and overall appearance not too far off. I’d even concede that bears would like marmalade sandwiches, should they happen on one. He does however recklessly encourage the adoption of dangerous wild animals in contravention of the 1976 Act but may gain bonus points for inciting the wrath of UKIP.
Location: Jellystone National Park
Habits and preferences: Stealing picnic baskets
Accuracy points: 6
Right species, right place (It’s supposed to be Yellowstone, obvs), vaguely correct appearance. Attraction to picnic baskets spot on whilst also carrying a genuine public warning. With his smart-casual dress sense (tie, hat and nothing else) he’s definitely the most stylish in the countdown. In reality would have ripped Park Ranger Smith’s face off and chewed-up his mangled body before going down in a hail of bullets.
Species: Sloth Bear
Location: Indian Jungle
Habits and preferences: Likes fruit, honey, ants, dancing and tomfoolery.
Accuracy points: 8
Actually looks like a bear, unlike most of the others. Right species, right place, right diet. I’ve also just found out the Bill Murray is voicing the character in a 2015 live action version, and that’s the best news I’ve heard in a long while.
Honourable(?) mentions for Bungle (super odd), but there was only room for one camp bear in the countdown.